This article is part of a series about the Brazilian national football team, where I profile footballers who deserve a spot on the squad. To see more articles in the series, see here.
Name: Fernando Francisco Reges
Current Club: FC Porto
Position: Defensive Midfielder
Profile: Fernando Francisco Reges is a defensive midfielder who currently plays with Portuguese champions and Europa League winners FC Porto. The Brazilian, who also holds a Portuguese passport, began his career with Vila Nova in the Brazilian third division, but was instantly snapped up by Porto following his impressive performances for Brazil in the 2007 South America Youth Championship.
His first European season was spent on loan to fellow Portuguese side Estrela da Amadora, where he gained important playing experience as an undisputed starter. He returned to his parent club in the next season, immediately cementing his place in the squad, starting all league fixtures as well as 10 matches in the UEFA Champions League.
The next season would be something of a breakthrough for Fernando, as he continued with his strong defensive displays, including picking of man-of-the-match accolades in Porto's Champion's League match against Manchester United.
He continued his fine form into 2010-11, playing many matches as Porto claimed a treble, including the UEFA Europa League. The Brazilian has recently been linked with a number of clubs, including Juventus, Internazionale and Roma.
Playing Style: Although Porto are a club generally known for good, attacking football, Fernando's role is as the defensive midfielder and he plays a crucial part in the squad's success.
He's a tough tackling midfielder who is absolutely fantastic at winning back possession. He's a brilliant tackler who rarely puts a foot wrong, and is a particularly adept slide-tackler.
With technique and impressive passing for someone of his position, Fernando also has a powerful boot and can occasionally produce brilliant strikes on goal.
Fernando generally drops very deep, often playing just in front of the center backs, but can also attack to an extent and get forward more.
What this player would offer the Brazilian squad: One of the main weaknesses in Mano Menezes's Copa America squad this year was the midfield. The regular pairing of Ramires and Lucas Leiva failed to impress over the course of the tournament and were ultimately one of the country's biggest factors in their elimination.
Although they added a dimension of steel to the squad, they lacked creativity going forward. Reges could provide this in some amounts, but if paired with more creative central midfielders he could thrive.
Fernando would fit well into the holding midfield role, assuming Brazil field a 4-3-3. In almost Sergio Busquets-esque fashion, he would win back possession and distribute the ball to the more attacking players.
Fernando also provides good cover at the back, regularly playing as deep as the central defenders, which would provide cover when the typical attack-minded Brazilian full backs storm forward.
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